Cowgirl, scientist, explorer and komoot cycling ambassador: Interview with Alison Tetrick

Introducing Alison Tetrick, komoot ambassador, cowgirl, self-confessed science nerd, communications professional, and brain injury survivor. 

Born and bred Californian, Alison is as multi-dimensional as they come and we haven’t even got to the cycling yet! She grew up on a ranch, went to university to study biochemistry, got into competitive triathlon, and eventually found her way into road cycling. After a training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, her cycling got serious, leading her to race in the UCI Women’s World Tour. She’s been racing ever since. Since 2008 her cycling has evolved to include plenty of gravel, including an epic trip along the Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan. Today when she gets on the bike, it’s as much about the training as it is about exploring new roads and trails and tapping into the freedom of traveling on two wheels. 

 We’re pleased to have Alsion on board and are super excited to host her adventures on komoot. Here’s a little more about the woman herself…

Describe yourself in three words

Cowgirl. Scientist. Explorer.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten on a ride?

Oysters and Sancerre. Or… fermented mare’s milk (Kumis) in Kyrgyzstan?

What’s the weirdest wardrobe malfunction you’ve seen or experienced?

I was doing a time trial, back in my road racing days, and going full tilt on my TT bike. The zipper of my very tight “aero” skinsuit broke at the bottom. The zipper slowly started releasing from the bottom to the top, while still remaining attached at the neck of the suit. With each big breath I took, more of the zipper would recede. By the end of the TT, my skinsuit was ballooning out like a parachute, catching all the wind in an attempt to slow me down because I was coming into the finish like a rocket. Luckily, I had a very fashionable sports bra on, but as I approached the finish line, I watched the race photographers look at me confused, and then place their cameras at their sides. No one needed to see this hot mess crossing the line. The announcer says, well, that’s an interesting alternative to using brakes. I still won the time trial, so apparently, the extra resistance only bolstered my performance, but it bruised my ego.

Disc or rim brakes?

Disc.

Tell us about your most epic ride yet.

Oh, this is a hard question! There are too many to count! I think every day on the bike, well, almost every day, is the best day ever. I think one of the most memorable days I have had on the bike was a bikepacking trip I did in Kyrgyzstan with Specialized, CyclingTips, and Serk Cycling. We rode the Silk Road for many days in complete isolation. We felt like we were riding through Narnia because the different realms and worlds we were riding through were completely mind-blowing. It couldn’t be real life. We climbed mountain passes at 14,000 feet (4267 meters), rode through deserts and red rocks, and into lush valley floors. I felt like I was riding through seven national parks every day and nothing looked the same. It was a beautiful moment where I had to disconnect from the world and separate myself from my to-do list and training and challenge myself mentally to just let go and absorb it all. I wouldn’t trade that trip for the world.

Looking forward, what future plans are you excited about?

This year is interesting because there is so much up in the air as far as events go. I take each day as it comes. I am looking forward to exploring more roads and destination rides. I want to do some exploring in the Eastern Sierras by foot and by bike. I mean, hot springs and mountains and wide-open spaces? Yes. That’s what I am looking forward to.

What is the most unusual item in your toolkit?

A flask of bourbon. You just never know.

What motivates you to get outside and explore?

I would say it is a mix of wanting to see the world, being by myself, getting in touch with nature, and challenging myself.

Why do you recommend komoot?

For adventure and the Highlights. I love to be able to plan my rides but also share my local knowledge or new discoveries on the route. I use the Highlights to see where to get water, what climb is epic, and where do I find the best views and snacks!

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